Saturday, October 24, 2009


This Macoupin County Courthouse in Carlinville, Illinois is recognized as the most magnificient courthouse in the State. It is one of the largest courthouses in the U.S., second only to a courthouse in New York. Designed by E. E. Meyers in 1867, the building began as a $50,000 (that is fifty thousand dollars) project. When it was finally completed in 1870, the total cost was $1.3 million. It took the County 40 (that is forty) years to pay it off. The building was made of limestone and a great example of the mid-1800s Renaissance Revival style architecture.
This scandalous cost inspired the nickname of "Million Dollar Courthouse" which people are still talking about. Something never changes when it comes to politicians spending taxpayers' money or using their elected positions to obtain personal financial gains while pretending to do something nice for the people.

Above is the Macoupin County Jail of 1869, across the street from the Million Dollars Courthouse. It was in operation until 1988. This Gothic Revival stone structure has cannon-balls embedded within the walls to help prevent jail breaks. Only one person ever escaped and was apprehended a few blocks away. (I wonder if the reason was because of the security of the jail or in such little town where everyone knows everybody, it is hard to run away as a prisoner, trying to blend in with the locals.)
From the photo below, I am not sure if Benjamin was trying to break out of jail or pretending to be the prison guard!

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